A Big Thank You….

…to everyone who made my 4683 mile journey a wonderful experience!

TR FHLTrish Hackett Nicola, author of the Chinese Exclusion Act Case File blog, joined me in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library for a few days. It was great to have a genealogy buddy close at hand to share successes. I conducted research for my portfolio and met Geoff Morris who gave me a total of 3 hours of uninterrupted time–an “off book” advanced class in Swedish research. He has a marvelous website, The Swedish Genealogy Guide.

Tim, Julie and Steve Morelli made my stay at our condo in Silverthorne CO a fun-filled one. They went skiing, but it was nice knowing they would return in the evening. It was also great renewing friendships with Katy and Alayne after a number of years. Katy, we will get together when Cherie is in Denver. I also had a wonderful lunch with Kate Johnson (thanks, Mary Roddy for making the connection.) and other leaders of Swedish Genealogy Society of Colorado. And, yes I confess, I would love to present to this group.

A moment of anxiety was alleviated by Joe Morris, our partner in the condo. I scheduled my departure from the condo on a day of a blizzard in the high country. Luckily, the Morris’s decided not to come to the condo until later in the week and allowed me to stay 3 extra days in the unit.  Those 3 days allowed me to outlast the blizzard and created time for the snow crews to clean the roads, making my journey south much less anxiety ridden. I had a high mountain pass to traverse to get to Leadville and beyond.

Tr HarrisHarris Court (friend Karen is also in picture) was my host at Flagstone Meadows B&B in Mancos, CO.  I cannot recommend his B&B enough. Beautiful accommodations, a view of Mesa Verde from my bedroom window, a real ranch breakfast every morning and great company and recommendations.  Harris even warmed up my car in the morning! The B&B was located 3 miles off the road so the night sky was brilliant with stars.  I saw the Milky Way, which I hadn’t seen for years. Harris was a gracious and very knowledgeable host who recommended the back way to the Grand Canyon, a great restaurant in Mancos and a visit to Goosenecks State Park.

TR HovenweepMy thanks to the National Park Service and the American taxpayers for funding the protection of such terrific natural resources as Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, Arches National Park, Hovenweep National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, and the Grand Canyon National Park.  Thanks to all those who work in the park, including my friend Carla in Denver! Winter is a great time to visit the national parks, for example Hovenweep had one car in the parking lot–mine!

Beverley Fieg, an Ostfriesen genealogy friend, and I had a great afternoon chat in Phoenix. This resulted in her recommending me to the Pima County GS when they needed a speaker due to a cancellation by their regular speaker.  I was thrilled to meet their group and speak on the Genealogical Proof Standard. There was a good turnout in spite of Josh Taylor speaking up the road at another genealogical society. I had such fun.  Thanks for the reference, Beverley!

2016 AZ mtnsBarbara and Jeff Bryson and their “owners,” Ruby and Romeo, allowed me to “camp” (This was not roughing it!!) in the casita for 2.5 weeks while I worked on my KDP. What a luxury! They are a very special couple and gave a great gift to me. I only hope I was an equally good guest! I brought back two quarts of the best green chili sauce!  Wow! I didn’t do a lot of touring in Tucson but I did make it to the Arizona State Museum to see  a first folio of Shakespeare. Did you know–if Shakespeare’s friends had not compiled his works and printed the folio, it is likely that we would not have Macbeth, Twelfth Night or Taming of the Shrew today, as these works had never been published before his death.

TR SavannahJen Fabrick deserves multiple thanks for arranging the WAUA (the Women of the Association of University Architects) winter gathering for 15 of us in Savannah GA. We had an entire house to ourselves. Two terrific tours: the first was a two hour architectural tour of Savannah and another by the Director of External Affairs of Savannah College of Art & Design. Did I mention the great food and even better conversation?  Thanks, Jen.

Jim (my brother), Alice Jacobson and Alan: I had a too short of a stop in San Diego to meet up with Jim and his family.  Also met with Laura Shinn, planner for SDSU, a former employee and now a friend. She gave me an outstanding tour of her mission style and mid-century modern university.  We joined her husband, Steve (another long time acquaintance) and had “Taco Tuesday” at Puesta. Best tacos I have every had, by far. I am not joking.

Tr SandySandy and Robert Ogata opened their house in Fresno to me. We toured the art galleries of Fresno and I was impressed by the quality of the work.  More importantly it inspired me to do gallery hopping in Seattle. We also checked out the Fresno Art Museum show by Ann Shied.  From there, Sandy and I did “painting rescue” (similar to dog rescue, as the painting was going to be destroyed) in Robert’s studio.  As soon as I have it framed I will post a picture.  Thanks, Robert and Sandy.

Chris and Laura Ramey provided a mid-way stop after a long 11 hour drive to Eugene OR as I headed towards home.

But, a special hug for my hubby–who thought I was crazy, but  encouraged me, nevertheless. [Hats off to my Prius! the one thing I was worried about was auto problems. The Prius was terrific and I never had a problem (also averaged 47 mpg!). Thanks also to the Yakima policeman who stopped me and didn’t give me a speeding ticket!]

Each of you are dear to my heart for helping me on my journey and each of you are now part of this story.

Thank you.

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last posting: unpacked, laundry etc. I will soon be off to Chicago for a long weekend with my daughter. Also note that I am an official blogger of the 2016 conferences for National Genealogical Society (May) and Jamboree (June). So you will be hearing from me about my experiences before, during and after those exciting educational experiences.


8 comments on “A Big Thank You….

  1. a gray says:

    What a great journey you’ve had.

    • Jill Morelli says:

      Yes! I get to repeat it to the Midwest in July/August/Sept. So stay tuned for that one! Three genealogy conferences, a 50th HS class reunion and research, research research!

  2. cottew1 says:

    What a wonderful gift you were given by all these friends and family members, Jill! If this is an example of how you will be doing “retirement,” you have a lot of fun to look forward to.

    • Jill Morelli says:

      Thanks, Betsey. It was a marvelous trip. Today “feels” like the first real day of retirement….but, having said that, I have two “assignments” I have to get done. 🙂

  3. Mary says:

    What a wonderful way to shift into ‘retirement’! Your long thank you note was a peek into a fabulous adventure! You have the heart of Amelia!!

  4. It was great spending a few days with you at the start of your trip. What a fantastic adventure and you did so much work on your CG application–the trip of a lifetime.

  5. geolover2 says:

    You aren’t kidding about the Milky Way, one of the wonders of the universe that we can actually see. Viewing during a roadside sleepover in Wyoming will always be in my brain (who could sleep?). It should go on the Bucket List.

    • Jill Morelli says:

      I am slow in responding but yes, the MW was amazing at 3:00 in the am! Harris, the host of the B&B, relayed a story that one of his guests asked him what that smudge was across the sky. He had to inform him that he was seeing the Milky Way (probably for the first time!)

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